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Malheur County to declare emergency over job losses because of vaccine mandate

Malheur County Judge Dan Joyce. (The Enterprise/File)

VALE – The Malheur County Court plans to issue an emergency declaration Wednesday over concerns of staffing shortages among emergency response agencies if vaccination mandates are enforced.

The declaration asks Gov. Kate Brown to lift her Covid vaccine mandates and allow the county to chart its own way in the future regarding restrictions.

 “A state of emergency is declared within Malheur County due to the immediately foreseeable lack of adequate resources to respond to basic needs for public health safety services,” the declaration states.

A fear that many areas first responders will decline to be vaccinated before an Oct. 18 deadline is driving the declaration, said Dan Joyce, Malheur County judge. Joyce said area first responder agencies are already short staffed and the governor’s mandate complicates . . .